Saturday, May 31, 2008
The Outcast - Sadie Jones
Perhaps you can tell from the title that this is yet another serious, sombre book. Still, I loved it.
Note: There is hope for me yet as to enjoying lighter fare. A wonderful blog buddy sent me an on-line book certificate to ensure “good things” happen in my life. (Thank you, my friend.) I spent it on book suggestions from my blog pals. And I will be meeting with yet another blog friend at a bookstore who, when she catches me gravitating toward the serious, sad books, will undoubtedly drag me over to the fun stuff.
I’m going to try something new with this book review. I found a video for The Outcast on YouTube (see below). It’s definitely an effective way to publicize a book but I’m a bit iffy about the whole concept. Why? Well, I’m the sort of person who believes that the book is always better than the movie and the video didn’t quite jive with what my imagination had created while reading. Still, it’s a great video and captures the suspense and drama of the novel.
From the Random House link, a brief synopsis:
“As menacing as it is beautiful, The Outcast is a devastating portrait of small-town hypocrisy from an astonishing new voice poised for international recognition.
It’s 1957 and Lewis Aldridge is travelling back to his home in the South of England. He is straight out of jail and nineteen years old. His return will trigger the implosion not just of his family, but of a whole community.”
Since the age of ten, Lewis has been a lost soul. The tragic death of his mother and a father emotionally incapable of dealing with or offering comfort to his son contribute to Lewis’s spiraling downward journey to outcast status. It is alarming to witness the escalating damage inflicted upon a child’s soul by adults with their own hidden and selfish agendas.
Rage simmers just below the surface of this young boy. His efforts to contain it, understand it and to control the urge to destroy both himself and the world around him are depicted with great empathy and understanding.
And despite all the anger, sadness and violence, the author manages to convey Lewis’s strength and bravery and a sense of hope for his salvation throughout the story.
Redemption is possible – and can be achieved through the love, faith and understanding of just one other person. But in order to accept this love and faith, you must be able to hold on to at least a tiny bit of faith and hope in yourself. Against the odds, Lewis manages to do just that.